Merrill Clark's Reviews > What It Takes: The Way to the White House

What It Takes by Richard Ben Cramer
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's review
Apr 05, 2011

it was amazing
Read in April, 2011

After Ben Smith of Politico out of the blue (lunch with the author) declared this book the best book on a presidential campaign, I had to read it. The book is about the 1988 Presidential election between George H. Bush and Michael Dukakis. In hindsight this campaign and the resulting presidency I think is viewed as a transition from Reagan to Clinton. Richard Ben Cramer is an excellent author, sometimes making up words that seem to fit in context. He does a great job at capturing the contenders during the primaries and their lives back to their births. This is a big book (1045 pages) with small print, so it took a long time to read it. My one minor complaint is the language is rather crude, as could be expected from our politicians. I am not reading this again and will happily give away to the first shout.

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